Thompson charged in connection to Needham shooting
A man has been charged in connection to Friday's shooting incident that led to the death of 27-year-old Dominic Needham of Red Lake.
Curtis James Thompson, 32, of Leonard, was charged on Monday with a felony count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Thompson remains in Beltrami County Jail. Bail was set at $100,000. His next court date is Jan. 28.
If convicted of the charge, Thompson faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
Needham died on Friday after law enforcement responded to an early-morning call about a shooting in Grant Valley Township.
According to the criminal complaint, Needham was discovered on the deck and was bleeding from a gunshot wound in his waist area. Efforts to resuscitate Needham failed, and he was pronounced dead due to the gunshot wound.
Officers found a broken window adjacent to where Needham was found, the complaint said. The double-hung window, had both its upper and lower panes broken.
One of the occupants of the home told investigators that they heard pounding, and Needham had requested access to the home, which they denied, the complaint said. They asked Needham to leave, but he wouldn't, and instead continued to pound on the door and window.
The witness said he believed Needham was shooting from outside the house and broke the two panes of the window, the complaint said.
The witness then told investigators that Thompson shot Needham from inside the home, the complaint said.
The homeowner told investigators that three adults were in the residence along with children when Needham came to the door and asked to be let in, the complaint said. She said that she heard shooting from outside and subsequently took her children into the bedroom, and she did not know what happened after that.
Thompson told investigators he had been staying at the home for the last few weeks and he was watching TV when he heard glass breaking, the complaint said. He said that he heard the other two adults inside screaming and then heard a gunshot.
Thompson said he took a rifle from the bedroom, loaded it and went into the living room, the complaint said.
Thompson saw that Needham had gotten about halfway into the home when Thompson shot him in the leg, the complaint said.
He said that he thought Needham had a gun, but Thompson said he did not see it, the complaint said.
Thompson said he then took the gun outside and threw it the snow, the complaint said.
During the investigation, investigators found footprints leading them 40 feet from the home to a Ruger 30.06 bolt-action rifle that was not loaded, the complaint said. An empty 30.06 cartridge in the living room near the spot where Thompson said he had been standing.
No other firearms were found were found outside, the complaint said.
When Needham was found on the deck, he was holding a large fixed blade knife in his right hand, the complaint said.
Thompson was sentenced on Dec. 10 in Polk County for felony second-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).
The incident remains under investigation by the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.